State v. Gaitan

On August 4, 2011, the ACLU-NJ filed an amicus brief with the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey on behalf of a criminal defendant, Frensel Gaitan. The defendant was seeking to overturn a guilty plea that he entered in 2005 because his attorney failed to notify him of the immigration consequences of his plea. The brief argues that according to two recent cases, State v. Nunez-Valdez and Padilla v. Kentucky, the defendant should be able to have his sentence overturned because he was not provided effective assistance from his lawyer. State v. Nunez-Valdez and Padilla v. Kentucky should also be applied retroactively because they were not new laws but an extension of requirement imposed on lawyers from earlier cases. On February 28, 2012 the New Jersey Supreme Court issued a 5-2 decision stating that Nunez-Valdez was a new rule of law and could not be applied retroactively to this case.

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